There are a few recent studies that caught my eye.
The first is an interesting paper from Brookings that is a proposal for an Enrico Moretti-style “big push” approach to boost innovation sector jobs in cities outside the superstars. It’s called “The case for growth centers: How to spread tech innovation across America.”
The authors make the point that innovation jobs have been concentrating in America. They observe:
Most notably, just five top innovation metro areas—Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and San Diego—accounted for more than 90% of the nation’s innovation-sector growth during the years 2005 to 2017. In this fashion, they have increased their share of the nation’s total innovation employment from 17.6% to 22.8% since 2005. In contrast, the bottom 90% of metro areas (343 of them) lost share.
Here’s their map of where innovation sector jobs have been adding and losing share:
Their proposal is for a major federal capital injection to boost innovation and R&D in 8-10 different regions selected via a competitive process.
Another Brookings report by Alan Berube look at “Small and midsized legacy communities: : Trends, assets, and principles for action.” Though his analysis is at the county level, he finds many of the same challenges facing these communities that I observed in my MI report on “How Stagnating Communities Can Prepare for the Future.”
And finally, Strada Education Network and EMSI have put out a report called “The New Geography of Skills“, which uses a concept called “skills shapes” to look at local market talent requirements.